Technological leap frogging

I heard a programme on BBC Radio 4 about a business supplying small solar power packs to the people of small villages in rural Africa.

These villages have no electricity infrastructure, and batteries and kerosene are expensive, so households purchase a solar power pack, which they pay for over eighteen months. This empowers the villagers to electrify the village without having to wait for the government to build national grid – type infrastructure which is cost prohibitive anyway.

This is a great example of how technology can be used for revolution rather than relying on evolution as we often do in developed countries. Mobile phones are another great example. They leap frogged land line technology and went straight to mobile technology, which meets their use case better.

I wonder how this approach of leap frogging could be used on small scales to deliver products that meet customers use cases but ignore the accepted best practice of iterative development. Does it rely on the evolution to have happened elsewhere? Does it need to follow a distributed model; be very localised and empowering of the users with minimal support from a larger authority?